As we told you yesterday, the first screenshot allegedly showing a Windows 9 build reached the web, but little is still known about the operating system that's expected to hit the market in early 2015.
Now a new screenshot published on MDL and brought to our attention by Twitter user Subaru2012 appears to be showing the new Start menu, which is set to return in Windows 9 and not in Windows 8.1 Update 2 as it was initially believed.
Of course, nobody can guarantee that this screenshot is real or fake, but as you can see for yourselves by zooming in, the Start menu clearly matches the design shown by Microsoft at the BUILD 2014 conference in April.
At that time, Microsoft said that the Start menu would return in another Windows 8.1 update, most likely Windows 8.1 Update 2 which is expected to debut sometime next month. People close to the matter, however, are saying that Redmond actually decided to delay this critical moment until Windows 9 comes out in April 2015, so Windows 8 and 8.1 users won't have a Start menu unless they decide to upgrade.
The new Start menu, which according to this screenshot has been implemented in build 9788, mixes traditional elements seen in Windows 7 with modern design cues belonging to Windows 8, such as live tiles.
Of course, it also provides easy access to power options, which could clearly fight confusion and help users control their computers easier. It's a well-known fact that many Windows 8 adopters had problems when trying to perform basic tasks such as shutting down or rebooting PCs, so the new Start menu would clearly tackle this problem.
Microsoft doesn't talk about its future projects and we should clearly take all of these with a pinch of salt until we actually get a leaked ISO that allows us to try out an early Windows 9 build by ourselves and see what it brings new. If this screenshot is real, it's hard to believe that a Windows 9 ISO is far from getting leaked, but at the moment we have absolutely no other option than to wait.
Microsoft's WPC 2014 conference kicks off later today and according to some people close to the company's plans, some Windows 9 information might also be disclosed, even though Windows 8.1 Update 2 is ready to be unveiled next month. We'll keep you up to date as more information emerges.